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Rapid Rate Muscle Growth without Fat Gain

Hey Dr. Darden,

Conventional wisdom states that in order to gain muscle you need a much higher calorie intake which usually leads to an increase in fat. However, I remember reading Casey Viator gained muscle while loosing fat during the Colorado Experiment & I also remember you asking someone in your prior site “What if I told you that in order to gain muscle you needed to loose fat?” or something along those lines then mentioning someone you had trained before who lost fat while gaining muscle. I’ve lost about 25 lbs this year & although I havent been measuring my arms or what not I’m pretty sure I’ve put on muscle based on how my suits & shirt fit me.

So to get to the point here are 2 questions I hope you can answer:

  1. How realistic is it to expect to gain muscle without a calorie surplus or even while trying to loose fat?
  2. If its realistically possible then how can your average guy achieve it?

Thanks in advance Ellington

I think it is easier to gain muscle while on a calorie surplus. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do so on a diet that’s calorie deficient. I’ve seen numerous people lose fat and gain muscle simultaneously.

Once again, the key is stimulating your muscles to grow at the basic cellular level.

And yes, average guys can achieve muscular growth – but most of them need a lot of supervision.

Ok great! I appreciate your response!

I was reading a thread in here somewhere(which I now can not find for the life of me) where a woman was asking you about training advice if I’m not mistaking. You then asked her what her hair color is, eye color and I forgot what else you asked. Can you please tell me how all that would change your recommendation? I’m very curious to know as I feel like I would gain some serious insight.

Hair color and skin color relate to the evolution of fatness and leanness. Generally speaking, the more north or south of the equator you go the fatter people are. Why? Because of the climate. Fat was necessary for warmth and the fatter people lived longer and reproduced most.

On the other hand, people who lived near the equator needed less fat because it was hot – and leaner people survived and reproduced the best.

Can you also see how fair skin, blond hair, and blue eyes survived best in colder regions? And why black skin, dark hair, and dark eyes worked better in hot areas?

If you look at all the “most muscular bodybuilders” who have ever lived, the vast majority will have dark skin, hair, and eyes.

Yes, there are a few exceptions, a few successful light-skin, blond-hair, blue-eyed bodybuilders – but not many.

And freckled skin, red-headed bodybuilders are even rarer. Can you name even one?

Ken Waller. ?

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There was one at our gym in the 80’s - bright red hair and red 'tache

Am I the only gingernut who’s bodybuilding dreams have come to a crashing halt? :man_facepalming:


No wonder I don’t look like Arnold , I had red hair and some freckles , ha ha! As someone already said, there was Ken Waller and maybe Dave Draper but with so many these days dying their hair blond and coloring their skin with tanning lotions it’s hard to tell what these guys really look like. Hey what about guys with white hair?! I hear they just look at a weight and they grow, ha ha!


You can still be bigger and stronger, but perhaps leaner should not be your goal. And I’m talking about ripped and shredded leaner.

The two bodybuilders with red hair and freckles that I remember were Ken Waller (and several guys mentioned him) and Red Lerille, who won the 1960 AAU Mr. America.

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It’s the beard… guys with big bushy beards have the best chance :rofl:

I remember my son coming home from college and saying his professor had sized him up saying with your blond/red hair and bone structure I can see some Neanderthal in you! I thought that was pretty cool! We probably won’t win any ripped and defined contests , which I’ve known all along , but might do well strength wise?

Blonde hair blue eyed fair skin checking in. I’m pissed. I thought it was just my diet and training holding be back

How come?

I’m leaning out as we speak and making great progress

Are Scotsmen exempt from this ‘gingers shouldn’t get shredded’ observation?

You have to study where your ancestors came from. Ninety percent of your fat cells are with you at birth and those from the colder regions have multiple times more than from the warmer areas. And then be realistic in your goals.

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This is very mind blowing. I’m glad I brought that up to you & thank you for your detailed explanation.

I’m sure you can still make considerable progress though and their are exceptions. For example I’ve seen very lean Russian bodybuilders but then I have relatives (I’m Cuban) who have a very hard time dropping weight.

I was just being facetious. There is plenty of things holding me back from being jacked and lean, none of which are hair color, skin color, or genetics. Mostly just will power and time.

Lmao gotcha

I’m a mix of English, Dutch and Scotch with a tad of Native American etc. My wife is Norwegian directly descended from Eric the Red. Funny thing is I’ve never really cared about being ripped. I remember being ripped at one time but the novelty wore off quick . Except for bodybuilding what’s the real purpose is being shredded all the time? I’m light skinned so I rarely go to the beach and the pool is in my back yard so who cares if I have a chiseled 6 pack, ha ha. Big muscles come in handy though when doing stuff and even with clothes on having big muscles is quite evident.